By Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama News Network
UGLY AUR PAGLI is a bizarre and uncanny title. But catchy and attracts instant attention at the same time. It's for this reason that you expect UGLY AUR PAGLI to be one wacky ride, what with the film promising 99 slaps and 1 kiss.
Besides, post PYAAR KE SIDE EFFECTS, unconventional stories with unconventional casting only got an impetus. Since UGLY AUR PAGLI comes from the same production house that delivered P.K.S.E., you only expect the film to go a notch higher, or be at par, than the earlier experience. And that's where the film falls short of expectations.
Viewed as an individualistic experience, UGLY AUR PAGLI has a few interesting moments. Don't look for a story here, for it's the moments and incidents that bind this 2-hour film together. So what if the writers and director seem inspired by MY SASSY GIRL? Mallika Sherawat and Ranvir Shorey are enough to make you forget the waferthin plot at times.
Sure, a few scenes do bring a smile on your face, they are genuinely funny and bizarre [Mallika wearing undergarments above her clothes in the college], but there're times when the humour falls flat. You just don't react to the on-screen antics, you sit motionless while absorbing them [the futuristic stories that Mallika pens makes you break into a yawn!].
All said, had director Sachin Khot opted for a strong story and backed it up with strong emotions [in the latter part], UGLY AUR PAGLI would've made you exclaim 'Lovely'. As things stand now, UGLY AUR PAGLI is below par!
UGLY AUR PAGLI tells the story of Kabir [Ranvir Shorey], a carefree guy who has been studying engineering for the last five years and whose life goes for a sixer when he meets the quirky and kinky Kuhu [Mallika Sherawat].
Kabir always wanted a girlfriend, but never in his wildest dreams did he ever think he would encounter a girl who could make him dance around circles, ride cycles without seats, wear high heeled ladies sandals…
10 minutes into the film and you realize that UGLY AUR PAGLI is not the usual prem kahani. Yet, you take to the over-dominating, brash woman and the timid, docile and submissive guy. In fact, you break into a smile as you are introduced to these characters. But the smile surfaces only intermittently.
Nothing wrong with the first hour, but the second hour is problematic. Problem is, the absence of a story makes every moment look repetitive. What you've watched in the first hour is remodelled and represented in the second hour, with slight modifications of course.
Besides, the story is stretched in the second hour. Why does Mallika disappear suddenly [we're told she goes to Kolkata for two years]. Also, how does Gaurav Kapoor, the prospective groom, know Ranvir Shorey? Gaurav blurts out 10 ways to win Mallika in his first meeting itself. But the question is, why would Ranvir guide Gaurav when he's himself hopelessly in love with Mallika and has been searching for her whereabouts desperately? Clearly, the writers just didn't know how to conclude this saga!
Debutante Sachin Khot is letdown, to a major extent, by a slipshod and sloppy script. Music [Anu Malik] is another sore point. Besides 'Talli' [well rendered by Mika, Anmol Malik and Hard Kaur] and to an extent, 'Karle Gunaah', the remaining songs should be given a skip.
UGLY AUR PAGLI belongs to both Mallika and Ranvir. The best thing about Mallika is, she's a complete natural. She's spunky and spirited and that's one of the reasons why this role works. And it works only because Mallika is portraying it. Doubt if any other actress would've carried off the devilish streak so well. Her emotional side is also well captured in the concluding moments.
Ranvir Shorey - an incredible actor indeed! To play a submissive part convincingly requires complete understanding of the craft and Ranvir proves, yet again, that he's one of the most dependable actors around. Again, the best thing about him is that he's not pretending to act. Tinnu Anand and Sushmita Mukherjee are hilarious in their first scene. Bharti Achrekar is alright. Zeenat Aman is hardly there for one scene.
On the whole, UGLY AUR PAGLI is, at best, an ordinary fare, but in the absence of a tight script, the film will face an uphill task in days to come.
Bollywood.com Rating: 2